Fertility is a strange thing. When we are teenagers, to hear a friend is pregnant is the worst news ever. When we are in our 20s, we’re all about taking birth control to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Then, suddenly, we’re trying to get pregnant and fertility concerns are everything — in the opposite direction. Suddenly, we hope to be as fertile as possible.
So, how can you tell (beyond the obvious) just how fertile you are and whether or not you are ready to be? Below are some signs you are fertile, and some of them — everything from age to cycle — will make sense.
But there’s going to be some other elements, direct from the mouths of medical experts and studies, that may really surprise you:
1. You’re in your early 20s.
“The age of peak (highest) fertility in a woman is approximately 20-24 years of age,” says Dr. Aaron Styer, a top reproductive endocrinologist and co-medical director of CCRM Boston.
As with other conditions in medicine, the age range for peak fertility is not the same for all women and can be variable. As age advances, fertility gradually declines.
2. You have regular periods.
Yes, we should all have semi-regular periods. If we don’t, there may be a problem. But if you are one of those people who are on time to the minute, this is just one of the signs you are fertile.
3. You experience PMS symptoms.
We hate to consider it, but to have PMS symptoms means your body is working the way it’s supposed to work.
That means you are fertile. In fact, a study in Evolution and Human Behavior discovered as women, we get “a little wilder” during their most fertile days of the month. In fact, that’s the time of the month we’re more likely to be hooking up with a stranger or doing friends with benefits situations.
4. You have the right genes.
“When thinking about their own fertility, many women will refer to the ease or difficulty of getting pregnant of some of their close female relatives (e.g., mother and/or sisters).
Some patients will ask ‘are there signs that I have normal fertility, above-average fertility, or that I am hyper-fertile?’ Unfortunately, it is difficult to precisely estimate how fertile (the likelihood of getting pregnant per menstrual cycle) a woman is based upon family history or symptoms,” says Styer.
5. You have cervical mucus.
“There is a common belief among many women that increased cervical mucus around the time of ovulation or regular menstrual cycles are signs of normal fertility and/or hyper-fertility. In reality, there are no symptoms or signs of hyper-fertility or that someone has normal fertility,” says Dr. Styer.
6. You don’t experience frequent hot flashes.
“In contrast, women with frequent hot flashes and menses that happen at time intervals of less than every 24 days may be at risk for reduced number and quality of eggs and below-average fertility (subfertility).
If a woman has fertility concerns or a desire to assess her fertility potential, she can meet with her OB/GYN or a fertility specialist (reproductive endocrinologist) for testing,” says Dr. Styer.
7. You impact other people’s cycles.
We’ve all heard of those dorm situations where girls living in close proximity end up regulating their cycles.
This is actually because of pheromones. If yours are strong enough, they affect the cycle of others, meaning you are probably pretty darn fertile.
Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer, her work has appeared in Forbes, MSN, Business Insider, HuffPost, and more. Visit her on Twitter.